The Lord Warden, England's first purpose-built stern loading car ferry, first appeared at Holyhead in 1971, spending that summer in services to Dun Laoghaire.
In 1978 she operated on a short-lived Fishguard - Dun Laoghaire service. The service was slow to pick up, but by mid-season traffic levels were showing encouraging signs. The service was advertised again for the 1979 season, but the decision to charter the large Stena Normandica for the Fishguard - Rosslare service saw the new route shelved.
Instead, the Lord Warden was slotted in as a second seasonal ship on the Rosslare run. A serious mechanical failure on the Stena Normandica however saw the "Warden" moved back to Holyhead while the Avalon moved back to Fishguard pending repairs to the Swedish ship.
Under the command of Capt John Bakewell her last sailing under the Sealink flag was from Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead on 8 September 1979. After lay-up at Newhaven she was sold for further service in the Red Sea. She was sold for scrap in 1981.
A German couple appeared on the bridge of the Lord Warden, on passage from Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead. They were booked into a hotel in Penrhyndeudraeth and wanted to phone the hotel to say they would be late arriving and please not to lock them out.
The couple was passed on to Radio Officer Jack Walsh who set up the phone call and spoke on their behalf. The call went like this. Anglesey Radio to sleepy hotel porter "We have a call for you from the Lord Warden " Cue endless gushings of "Your Majesty, Your Lordship, Your Highness etc" from aforementioned porter to a very bemused Jack Walsh.
Captain Glynne Pritchard
Twin screw and single rudder